Troy Stevenson, the new chairman of gay rights group Garden State Equality, has predicted marriage equality will soon be legal in New Jersey, possibly as early as this year.

In speaking to CBS New York, Stevenson said that a lot has happened since Republican Governor Chris Christie vetoed a marriage equality bill approved by lawmakers last year.

“His response to Hurricane Sandy was amazing, and he came out strongly advocating for the rights of the citizens of New Jersey – all citizens of New Jersey,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson replaced the group's founder and long-time chairman Steven Goldstein earlier this month. Goldstein left his post to take a job at Rutgers-Newark, where he has been named associate chancellor for external relations.

Stevenson said his group was working to override Christie's veto.

“We're going to be targeting specific legislators and getting them to see what their constituents believe,” he said.

Other efforts going on in the state to extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples include a lawsuit, which the group supports, and a proposal to put the issue up for a popular vote.

(Related: New Jersey's Stephen Sweeney says he won't put gay marriage on the ballot.)